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Winchester Business Improvement District (BID) is celebrating the third anniversary of the BID Rangers scheme, launched in 2018 to reduce business crime and help make the city centre a safer place for workers, visitors and residents to enjoy.

This November marks the third anniversary of the successful BID Rangers scheme in Winchester, which is recognised as an example of good practice for other town and city centres across the country. To date, the scheme has assisted local businesses and recovered over £42,400 worth of stolen goods from offenders in the BID area.

The scheme is part of the Winchester Business Crime Reduction Partnership, a National Standards Accredited umbrella organisation led by Winchester BID, bringing together businesses, the Police and the Winchester Community Safety Partnership. The Rangers, provided by Venture Security, continue to work closely with Hampshire Constabulary, Winchester City Council and other partner organisations to reduce low level crime and anti-social behaviour and to provide additional security in the city centre. The scheme was one of the first of its kind nationally, and is now often referred to as a flagship scheme that other towns and cities wish to replicate.

The Rangers are security trained and accredited and patrol the city centre as part of Winchester BID’s commitment to providing a safer environment. The Rangers also play an important ambassadorial role and help visitors with directions and are a welcoming presence on the street. During the COVID-19 lockdowns of 2020 and 2021, the Rangers played a crucial role in keeping watch on closed business premises and offering reassurance and assistance to businesses which were open as well as to members of the public. They continue to provide a 7 days a week service in the city centre and have responded to 9,918 incidents since the scheme was launched in November 2018.

Jane Bastock, Business Crime Reduction Manager at Winchester BID, said:

“The Winchester BID Rangers scheme has been operating in the city centre for three years and we continue to receive positive feedback from local businesses. The Rangers not only patrol the city centre but have become a valuable presence for a variety of incidents, attending 4,640 in the last year alone. Incidents range from responding to anti-social behaviour, shoplifting, partnership working with the Police and Winchester City Council, and helping businesses, visitors to the city and members of the community.”

Chief Inspector Jon Turton, District Commander for Winchester at Hampshire Constabulary, said:

“The Rangers have really established themselves in the city and provide a great service for people that live, work and visit Winchester. They have also developed and incredibly strong working relationship with my team to prevent crime and tackle offending.”

Sam Stewart, Manager at Mountain Warehouse, said:

“On many occasions, I have seen first-hand the responsiveness and support the BID Rangers provide to businesses and the general public around Winchester city centre, along with the professionalism to which they conduct themselves. As a member of Shopwatch, the Rangers are an asset to my business by providing assistance quickly when needed, and with positive results.”

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